‘A welcome gift … Highlighting Lenin’s flexibility and cultivation of collective leadership, Le Blanc brings out the practical activism and revolutionary patience crucial to organizing the oppressed on a rapidly over-heating planet’ Jodi Dean, author of Crowds and PartyVladimir Lenin lies in a tomb in Moscow’s Red Square. History has not been kind to this Russian leader, his teachings reviled by modern mainstream politics.
But in today’s capitalist society, riven by class inequality and imperialist wars, perhaps it is worth returning to this communist icon’s demand for ‘Peace, Land and Bread’, and his radical understanding of democracy. Lenin was wrestling with the question of ‘what is to be done?’ when facing the catastrophes of his own time. Against the odds, the Bolshevik party succeeded in rejecting both the corrupt and decaying Romanov dynasty, as well as the capitalist economic system which had started to take root in Russia.
To understand how this happened, and what we can learn from him today, Paul Le Blanc takes us through Lenin’s dynamic revolutionary thought, how he worked as part of a larger collective and how he centred the labor movement in Russia and beyond, uncovering a powerful form of democracy that could transform our activism today.